Weight loss manuals may tell you to avoid milk and dairy, but new studies show otherwise. Calcium, a mineral found in most dairy products, has been shown to aid in weight loss and maintenance. But since dairy products are high in fat, drug companies have introduced the calcium weight loss supplement as an alternative. It promises to be safer and more effective than other diet pills. But how do they really work?
One study shows that overweight people ate less calcium than those of normal weight, and increasing their calcium intake for a set period resulted in an average drop of about 15 pounds. One theory is that lack of calcium puts the body into a 'starvation mode,' wherein you feel hungry at the wrong times and don't get full after eating your regular helpings.
Other studies show that low calcium intake can trigger a mechanism that makes the body store fat. This process is usually kept in check by hormones, which are believed to rely on calcium along with other minerals to do their job. If your weight gain is caused by a hormonal imbalance, a calcium weight loss supplement can help reverse the process as well.
Dietary vs. supplementary calcium
Dietary calcium--the kind you get from food--comes with a lot of fat and calories, so the calcium content won't really help. A calcium weight loss supplement, on the other hand, gives you pure calcium, so you can maintain a dairy-free diet while still enjoying its weight loss benefits. One study also suggests that supplements can be more effective than calcium-rich foods.
Your calcium weight loss supplement won't make you lose ten pounds in a week--there's no healthy way to do that. You still need a proper diet and regular exercise to keep off the weight and maintain good overall health. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure it will work for you.